By The Numbers

The puzzle linking Gooree Park to Northern Farm

The legacy of Eduardo Cojuangco continues to be felt after Palaisipan delivered Group 1 glory for Katsumi Yoshida at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Saturday’s victory by Palaisipan (So You Think) in the final Australian Group 1 of the season, the Tattersall’s Tiara (Gr 1, 1400m), may have been a moment of triumph for one of the world’s most successful owners and breeders, Katsumi Yoshida, but owed much to another leviathan Asian thoroughbred investor.

The death of Philippine businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jnr in June 2020 was felt widely across the global thoroughbred industry.

Cojuangco’s contribution in Australia, be it through his breeding and ownership interests at Gooree Park or through the sponsorship his San Miguel company gave to racing in tough times in the 1990s, was such that he was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame in 2015.

His passing, at age 85, precipitated an immediate estate sale of his thoroughbred assets at the subsequent 2020 Magic Millions National Sales, which were held in late July due to the delay caused by the onset of the pandemic.

There were 41 lots catalogued, most of them with pedigrees full of the names of the most famous horses to carry the red and black Gooree Park colours in Australia.

Among them was a two-year-old So You Think (High Chaparral) filly called Palaisipan, named after a Filipino phrase for puzzle, a tribute both to her breeder’s culture and her sire.

On her pedigree page were six horses who won stakes races in the Gooree colours, including the late Northern Meteor (Encosta De Lago), the Group 1 winner turned breed-shaping stallion, as well as Twin Hills Stud’s Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock).

The unreserved sale of those horses raised just under $2.3 million and 26 of the 39 sold have subsequently won races. But the $40,000 that Chris Munce paid for Palaisipan proved the smartest buy of the sale.

On Saturday she became the second descendant of the influential broodmare Explosive (Fappiano), who was sourced out of the US by Cojuangco in the 1990s, to win a Group 1 race in Australia, a list that extends to eight if you include stakes winners, and 13 if you add in those which are stakes placed.

Stakes winning descendants of Explosive

Horse Status
Northern Meteor Group 1 winner
Palaisipan Group 1 winner
Smart Missile Group 2 winner
Queen Of The Hill Group 3 winner
Sure Knee Group 3 winner
Rabbuka Listed Winner
Kiss From A Rose Listed Winner
Surge Ahead Listed Winner

Filtering back another generation to her fifth dam Scuff (Forli), the list includes 14 global stakes winners, and another 13 stakes performers, while another generation back gets us to the blue hen, Moccasin (Nantallah), who can count 53 stakes winners and now ten Group/Grade 1 winners among her descendants.

Moccasin’s dam was Rough Shod (Gold Bridge), who counts Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer) and Nureyev (Northern Dancer) among her descendants, a list of which includes 54 elitelevel winners and 327 stakes winners. 

Descendant progeny records of Palaispan’s damline

Broodmare Named foals Runners Winners SW G1w Stakes placed
Explosive (fourth dam) 105 79 54 8 2 6
Scuff (fifth dam) 265 217 154 14 3 13
Moccasin (sixth dam) 779 634 422 53 10 39


With a pedigree like that, and as a previous Group 2 winner, it is little wonder that Yoshida and his representatives from Northern Farm came calling for Palaisipan recently with a private offer which Munce and his owners were unable to knock back.

Yoshida, who has a strong relationship with Arrowfield, is renowned for sourcing elite mares from all over the world and his love of Australian mares has yielded plenty of success, most recently in the form of the newest Japanese superstar, Liberty Island (Duramente), a daughter of dual Australian Group 1 winner Yankee Rose (All American).

The slightly different circumstances for Palaisipan are that she raced to Group 1 victory in Yoshida’s red, yellow and black colours, which had been carried to elite success in Australia in the 1990s through horses such as Hula Flight (Hula Town) and Derobe (Pompeii Court), but not so much in recent times.

Most of his mare purchases in Australia, think recent names like Funstar (Adelaide), Youngstar (High Chaparral), Mystic Journey (Needs Further), Amphitrite (Sebring), She Will Reign (Manhattan Rain) and Yankee Rose, were all bought either publicly or privately after their racing careers.

While Yoshida has raced fillies/mares in Australia in recent times in various partnerships, they have not tended to be in those iconic colours.

The closest correlation in the past decade to the Palaisipan story would be Angel Of Mercy (Hussonet), who was purchased by Yoshida at the 2014 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. She would finish second in the Tatt’s Tiara at her subsequent start in those red, yellow and black colours.

The addition of a daughter of So You Think to Yoshida’s broodmare band is another development. The Coolmore resident’s value as a sire of elite breeding prospects is growing at a significant rate with another of his Group 1-winning daughters, Nimalee, breaking the Inglis Chairman’s Sale record when she sold for $3.6 million to Coolmore last month.

So You Think now has 11 individual Group 1 winners, with his progeny winning three elite races at Eagle Farm in the past month after Think About It’s dual successes in the Kingsford Smith Cup (Gr 1, 1300m) and the Stradbroke Handicap (Gr 1, 1400m). He is now in second place in the Australian sires’ table, the same place as he finished last season.

His pre-potency as a broodmare sire has already been demonstrated through last year’s Golden Slipper (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Fireburn (Rebel Dane), who is out of his daughter Mull Over.

Speaking of broodmare sires, Palaisipan’s success continues a remarkable run for the progeny of daughters of Fastnet Rock (Danehill). She is one of five global stakes winners for the Coolmore champion as a broodmare sire this month.

He had three winners in that role at Royal Ascot this week. His Group 1-winning daughters Sea Siren and Amicus are the respective dams of Ribblesdale Stakes (Gr 2, 1m 4f) winner Warm Heart (Galileo) and Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (1m 4f) winner Okita Soushi (Galileo), while Jersey Stakes (Gr 3, 7f) victor Age Of Kings (Kingman) is also out of a Fastnet Rock mare.

Fastnet Rock was also the damsire of a further two stakes placegetters at Royal Ascot, Chesham Stakes (Gr 2, 7f) runner-up Pearls And Rubies (No Nay Never) and Artistic Star (Galileo), who was third in the King Edward VII Stakes, (Gr 2, 1m 4f).

He now has 90 stakes winners globally as a broodmare sire, 58 of them in Australia, where six of his eight Group 1 winners in that role have raced.

Palaisipan is one of two stakes winners by So You Think out of Fastnet Rock mares, the other being Winx Guineas (Gr 3, 1600m) winner Majestic Colour, while that nick has produced 23 winners in total from 39 runners.

Fastnet Rock’s global record as a broodmare sire by year  

Year Runners Winners Stakes winners G1 winners
2019 458 200 8 1
2020 629 283 21 1
2021 785 344 18 0
2022 925 423 26 4
2023* 818 273 18 2

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